Oh my goodness pets are wonderful! They are super cute and cuddly and that big smile when coming home is totally worth it. And although I’m not a lizard person, for those with other pets like iguanas out there, I know that any pet can bring happiness into your life. I get it! I have two dogs of my own and so I know that fur babies are a big part of many people’s lives. I want you to be careful, though, that your wonderful companion isn’t sneakily getting in the way of intimacy in your relationship.
Impact on Emotional Connection
A vital piece of intimacy in your relationship is making sure that there is an emotional connection between you and your partner. Without the emotional factor, many women and their Sexually Responsive Desire would not be in the best spot. So not only do you want to make sure you are adding in the good through things like The Five Love Languages , you also want to make sure you are taking a look at what’s taking away from that emotional connection.
How does your pet do this?
Fido can wiggle its way between the emotional connection of your relationship in several ways. Ask yourself, am I greeting my dogs when I come home before I greet my partner? Since a good Hello/Goodbye Ritual is important to your relationship, a dog’s eager attention seeking can easily get in the way of this important connection between you and your partner.
Or perhaps you are giving some awesome pets and playtime to your pup when your partner is craving some attention from you, or vise versa. I remember once myself when my husband and I first got our first dog Ellie and his attention toward her made me a bit jealous! At first, I thought, holy cow how can I be jealous of a dog?! But when we look under the surface it was the part of me that was wanting a bit more attention from him. Making sure you are talking vulnerably with each other about your needs regarding the relationship and boundaries with animals ensures that the negative impact of innocent actions of giving your dog attention can be nipped in the bud so any ouch doesn’t grow bigger.
It may seem like these are small things when greeting your pup first or giving your dog attention, but any dog-before-partner actions can lead to ouches in your partner if they aren’t talked about.
Impact on Physical Connection
Physical touch that isn’t sexual is not only important for your relationship regarding building connection but also for setting the foundation of pressure-free intimacy. So how is that cute little fur pup a potential sneaky wedge between both you and your partner physically? Let me ask you when you are watching a movie or TV show with your partner, where is your pet and where are the two of you in relation to each other? Are you sitting on the couch next to each other and physically touching each other with a hand on a leg or scooted up close to each other with the pets on the floor? Or, is Fido between you both and you aren’t even touching? Or even further, are you both on separate couches with either Felix or Fido in your lap?
Although pet cuddles are amazing, you want to be aware of the ways in which this may be creating a sneaky separation between you and your partner. On the surface, lounging on either end of the couch with your animals between you both my look innocent. But, if it starts to occur more and more often than the times you and your partner are cuddling then the negative impact can build up. This is why it is important to be intentional with your intimacy so that you can be aware of what adds to the intimacy and what can be a wedge.
Now I’m not saying that you should never cuddle with your pups on the couch (although I’m sure some dog trainers may shake their head at that). If I said that I would be a total hypocrite because there are times my husband and I are on the couch watching our show and the pups are right there between us. Instead what I want you to do is talk with your partner about pet-boundaries when it comes to the couch. Maybe sometimes you have puppy cuddles and other times just you and your partner. Or maybe what needs to happen for your relationship is that Fido needs to stick to the floor 100 percent of the time. Regardless of what works for both of you, I suggest making sure at least the majority of the time is dedicated to direct contact with your partner. So, I of course want you to love on your pups but make sure you don’t pull too much attention away from your partner.
Wiggling in Between Sexual connection
Does your dog sleep with you? Do you cuddle with your dogs in bed most of the time instead of with your partner? If your partner asks you to boot the dogs off the bed do you resist? If you answered yes then your dog may be one of the blocks getting in the way of your sex life. The bed is one of the most common spots for couples to be sexually intimate. If you don’t establish boundaries then your pup could be wiggling its way into your bed and as a result pushing your sex life right on out.
To make sure your pup doesn’t encroach on valuable sexy time, setting boundaries is key. Although I would strongly suggest having your bed be dog-free, I also know that isn’t the case for many couples including myself. I love a good weekend morning snuggle with my pups. Instead, I want you to find what boundaries work best for you and your partner. If it is that there are no dogs on the bed at all times, great. Maybe your mutual agreement is to cuddle with the pups on some nights or mornings but during your Intentional Intimacy night you boot the pups out of the bedroom no questions. Having those vulnerable conversations about what boundaries works for you and your partner in your relationship is what will be key here.
Want to pinpoint other sexual blocks that may be getting in the way of intimacy with your partner? Take the FREE Sexual Blocks Quiz to find out your blocks and get steps to take action today!